Scottish Premiership - Hughes looking forward to derby day

John Hughes gets his first experience of the Highland derby when his Inverness side host Ross County on New Year's Day but the Caley boss is well aware of the importance of local rivalries.

As a robust centre-half, Hughes played for Celtic against Rangers, played for and managed Hibernian against Hearts and was involved in the Ayrshire derby in the latter stages of his career when he featured for Ayr United against Kilmarnock.

The former Falkirk boss, consequently, is "very much" looking forward to the visit of the Staggies for what he hopes will be his first home win since taking over from Terry Butcher at the beginning of December.

"I have been involved in a few derbies all over the country," said Hughes.

"I know the importance of them to the supporters.

"They want the bragging rights.

"Hopefully it will be a sell-out and hopefully the three points can stay in Inverness."

Inverness go into the game on the back of Sunday's 1-0 home defeat to Celtic which dropped them to fourth in the table.

A difficult task for Caley was not helped by the loss of a goal to Kris Commons after only two minutes.

However, Hughes insists he seen enough in that game and indeed, since he moved to the Highlands to give him encouragement ahead of the County match and for the rest of the season.

"I have been in football long enough to know you are not going to win every football match but any team we play, home or away, they will know they have been in a game and that was the case against Celtic," he said "There are always positives.

"I haven't seen a negative since I've come to this club, even against Aberdeen when we lost four goals in 30 minutes.

"I am learning all the time and we learned a big lesson against Aberdeen.

"The only crime in that game was trying too hard. I'm serious. They were trying too hard to get back into the game and chasing it all over the place and that left us exposed.

"So I haven't got a bad word to say about these boys, they have been absolutely tremendous."